Making Impressions Stick

Recruiters prep students for ILR Career Fair
Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Be confident and personable, not overly rehearsed.

"We want to hire people, not robots," said a panelist at Monday's Fireside Chat event in the ILR Conference Center.

Organized by the Minority ILR Student Organization -- known as MILRSO -- the event is designed to help students prepare for job interviews, including ones that evolve from today's 23rd Annual ILR Career Fair in Statler Hall.

"Manage your brand. Look presentable.  Be genuine.  Ask engaging questions," said Eric Smith '09 of Morgan Stanley.

"Just be real and don't feel you have to put on a front of professionalism," he said. "Never be afraid to ask questions."

Michael Goldwasser '91, vice president of human resources at The Nielsen Company,  asked students, "What about you is memorable? Some people shake my hand, hand me a resume and move on.  It happens.  That’s not memorable."

"Don't try to figure out what we're looking for," he said,  Look for the companies that share your most valued attributes, "then find a way to make your impression stick."

Goldwasser said his company will sift through resumes received today, return to campus interviews the first week of November, then invite finalists to New York City for a final round of interviews two weeks later.

At the last round, students find out on the spot whether or not they have a job waiting for them after graduation, he said.

Goldwasser hopes some of the slots on HR Emerging Leaders Program he heads will go to ILR graduates.

"I want ILR to be one of our feeders.  I want ILR to have a great shot.  It’s the least I can do" for the school, he said.

During five hours of meet-and-greet time in the Statler's Carrier Ballroom, dozens of employers will see about 100 students, many of whom have a polished resume to hand over.

Don't rely on a piece of paper to sell yourself, recruiters advised.

"We want to hire great people, not great resumes.  Be prepared for us to ask you questions. We want to get a sense of your personality," one said.

Another advised students to speak forthrightly about their skills. "Think about the things you've done and tell me the results."

Katherine Sawyers '08, a senior human resources representative at Pepsi Beverages Company, said she wants to hear first from student applicants what they are looking for in a company.

From there, she said, "I can tell if you are a good fit."

Last night, recruiters also had advice for students after they land jobs.

Elizabeth Henry '01, senior manager, HR, for P&G Technical Centres Ltd, urged students to have the courage to ask for help on the job and to share their opinions, "even when they go against grain ... and share in a way that's influential and doesn’t hurt relationships."